Utah's Andrew Bogut is the only player averaging a double-double in Mountain West play.
Feb. 7, 2005
The Game At A Glance
Utah Head Coach: Ray Giacoletti UNLV Head Coach: Lon Kruger Alma Mater: Minot State, 1985 Alma Mater: Kansas State, 1975 Record at Utah: 19-3 (1st Season) Record at UNLV: 9-10 (1st Season) Overall Record: 136-86 (8th Season) Overall Record: 327-243 (19th Season)
Rankings: Utah is No. 21 in the Associated Press poll and No. 22 in the ESPN/USA Today poll.
Television: KJZZ-TV 14 in Salt Lake City. ESPN Full Court (pay-per-view). Steve Brown (play-by-play) and Mark Eaton (analyst).
Radio: Utah Sports Network (Hot Ticket 700/KALL-AM in Salt Lake City and affiliate stations). On the Internet at www.UtahUtes.com and www.HotTicket700.com. Matt Thomas (play-by-play), Mark Rydalch (analyst) and Bill Riley (host).
Series Record: Utah leads 16-13 Utah's Record Home/Away/Neutral: 10-2/5-9/1-2 Current Streak: Utah has won 4 in a row Last Meeting: Utah won 70-52 on Jan. 10, 2005 in Salt Lake City.
The Runnin' Utes return to Salt Lake City for a pair of home games next weekend. Utah hosts Colorado State on Saturday at 7:07 p.m. (MST) and Wyoming on Monday at 7:05 p.m. (MST) in the Jon M. Huntsman Center.
Quickly On Utah
The Runnin' Utes (19-3, 7-0 MWC) wrap-up a two-game western road swing against UNLV (9-10, 2-5 MWC) on Monday at 7:37 p.m. (PST) at the Thomas & Mack Center (18,500) in Las Vegas, Nev. The game will be shown on KJZZ-TV 14 in Salt Lake City and ESPN Full Court, and broadcast on Hot Ticket 700 (KALL-AM) and the Utah Sports Network. Utah is 5-2 on opponents' home courts this season and 7-3 overall away from home.
The Utes opened their road trip with a 61-41 win at San Diego State on Saturday night. In its only game last weekend, Utah defeated instate rival BYU 72-58 on Monday in Provo, Utah.
Utah is ranked in the two major Top 25 polls for the second consecutive week, moving up four spots to No. 21 in the Associated Press poll and three spots to No. 22 and ESPN/USA Today poll. Utah has won 14 consecutive games--recording the longest winning streak in the last six seasons--and 15 of the last 16. During its recent winning streak, Utah has won by an average of 18.6 points per game.
Sophomore center/forward Andrew Bogut (7-0, 245) leads the Utes in scoring (19.7 ppg), rebounding (12.0 rpg) and blocked shots (39), and is shooting 65.6 percent from the field. Bogut has 15 double-doubles this season and ranked tied for first in the nation in that category as of last Monday. Senior guard Marc Jackson (6-1, 175) is second in scoring (11.0 ppg), hitting 51.9 percent of his three-point attempts (41-of-79) and 83.8 percent of his free throws. Jackson also leads the team lead in assists (3.59 apg). Junior forward/guard Richard Chaney, who has played in the last four games after missing seven with a broken left hand, is third on the team in scoring average (10.5 ppg). Junior forward Bryant Markson (6-6, 190) is fourth in scoring average (10.4 ppg) and second in rebounding (3.8 rpg). Junior guard Tim Drisdom (6-3, 203) is second on the team in assists (3.55 apg) and has a 2.16 assists to turnover ratio.
As of Feb. 1, the Utes ranked first in the NCAA in field goal percentage (53.9), third in rebound margin (+11.1) and seventh in scoring defense (57.5 ppg). Andrew Bogut was ranked first in rebounding (12.0 rpg), fourth in field goal percentage (64.9) and 22nd in scoring (20.0 ppg).
Utes Going For Fourth Straight 20-Win Season On Monday
With a win over UNLV on Monday night, Utah would hit the 20-wins mark for the fourth consecutive season and the 13th time in the last 16 years. It would be the fewest games (23) the Utes have needed to reach 20 wins since taking just 21 games during the 1997-98 season.
Since 1989-90, Utah has averaged 24 wins per year. A rundown of the Utes' 20-win seasons since the beginning of the 90s: 1990-91 (30-4), 1991-92 (24-11), 1992-93 (24-7), 1994-95 (28-6), 1995-96 (27-7), 1996-97 (29-4), 1997-98 (30-4), 1998-99 (28-5), 1999-2000 (23-9), 2001-02 (21-9), 2002-03 (25-8), 2003-04 (24-9).
Scouting The Runnin' Rebels
UNLV is 9-10 overall and tied for sixth place in the Mountain West Conference with a 2-5 record. The Runnin' Rebels are 7-4 at home this season. After getting back-to-back home wins over Colorado State (86-77) and Wyoming (79-67), the Runnin' Rebels have last three in row. UNLV lost at New Mexico (62-58) on Jan. 29 and at Air Force (64-48) on Jan. 31 before losing to BYU (82-72 in OT) at home on Saturday.
Senior forward Odartey Blankson (6-7, 220) ranks fifth the MWC in scoring (17.3 ppg), fourth in rebounding (8.6 rpg) and second in free throw percentage (83.8). Senior guard/forward Romel Beck (6-7, 185) is eighth in the Mountain West in scoring (13.9 ppg), 10th in three-point percentage (38.3), and fifth in free throw percentage (82.0). Senior guard Jerel Blassingame (5-10, 170) is 15th in the conference in scoring (10.7 ppg), first in assists (6.58 apg), second in assist/turnover ratio (1.84) and 14th in free throw percentage (72.7). Junior forward Luis Amundson is fifth in the MWC in rebounding (8.5 rpg), fourth in field goal percentage (58.0) while averaging 9.4 points per game, and fourth in blocked shots (1.68 bpg).
The Rebels rank second in the Mountain West in scoring offense (74.0 ppg), eight in scoring defense (73.2 rpg), fifth in rebound margin (+0.8 rpg), fourth in assist/turnover ratio (0.97) and third in blocked shots (4.16).
Head Coach Lon Kruger
A veteran of two decades as a head coach on the collegiate and professional levels, Lon Kruger took over as UNLV's head coach this season after a four-year stint in the NBA. Following an 18-year career as one of the nation's most successful college coaches, Kruger spent three seasons (2000-03) as the head coach of the Atlanta Hawks and then part of the 2003-04 season as an assistant with the New York Knicks.
At the collegiate level, Kruger compiled an impressive 318-233 (.577) overall mark in 18 previous seasons as a head coach at Pan American (1982-86), Kansas State (1986-90), Florida (1990-96) and Illinois (1996-2000). Kruger piloted his teams to the postseason on 11 different occasions, with nine appearances in the NCAA Tournament and two in the NIT. He compiled seven 20-plus victory seasons, was a two-time SEC Coach of the Year (1992 and 1994) and led his 1993-94 Florida squad to the NCAA Final Four.
Utah vs. UNLV Series Notes
Utah and UNLV meet for the 30th time on Monday night. The Utes lead the series 16-13 and have taken 10 of the last 13 games, including four in a row.
The Runnin' Utes won the first meeting this season, 70-52 on Jan. 10 in Salt Lake City. It was the Mountain West Conference opener for both teams.
Utah took all three games last season, winning 72-67 on Jan. 12 at the Thomas & Mack Center, 70-56 on Feb. 9 in Salt Lake City, and 73-70 on March 13 in the MWC Tournament championship game.
In conference regular-season play, Utah has an 11-2 advantage, winning nine of the last 10. Since both teams became members of the Mountain West Conference in 1999-2000, Utah leads 9-2.
UNLV has a 9-5 advantage in games played in Las Vegas. Utah has won two of the last three game played in Las Vegas, including a 72-67 win last season on Jan. 12.
Ray Giacoletti is 1-0 against UNLV, facing the Runnin' Rebels for the first time on Jan. 10.
Lon Kruger is 0-2 against Utah. In addition to falling to Utah earlier this season, his Florida team lost to the Utes 81-78 on April 1, 1992 in the NIT Final Four.
Marc Jackson scored 23 points as Utah defeated the UNLV Rebels 70-52 earlier this season in Salt Lake City.
The game was the Mountain West conference opener for both teams. The Rebels have lost to Utah in four straight meetings. UNLV has dropped seven consecutive games in Salt Lake City dating back to 1982.
Utah cruised to the victory on the strength of a 17-4 run midway through the second half. The run was sparked by a pair of three-pointers by Jackson and two buckets by Andrew Bogut. The Utes led by as many as 20 in the second half. The Rebels struggled after guard Jerel Blassingame received his fourth foul at the 9:28 mark in the second half and was forced to leave the game.
The Utes built a 31-24 halftime lead thanks to a balanced scoring effort that included a quick 5-0 run near the end of the first half. Utah also out-rebounded UNLV 23-10 in the opening half.
The majority of Jackson's points came from behind the arc where he was 5-of-8. Bogut recorded his 12th double-double of the year with 10 points and 15 rebounds. Bryant Markson also scored a career-best 17 points and grabbed seven rebounds.
UNLV's Romel Beck and Odartey Blankson each scored 12 points.
Boasting Of Bogut, Utah's Wooden and Naismith Awards Candidate
Sophomore forward Andrew Bogut (7-0, 245) has been named a candidate for the John R. Wooden and Naismith national player of the year awards. Bogut leads the Utes in scoring (19.7 ppg), rebounds (12.0 rpg) and blocked shots (39). He is also third in assists (2.45 apg) and second in steals (25), and is shooting 65.6 percent from the field and 70.0 percent from the free throw line. He has led the Utes in scoring 16 times and rebounding 21 times this season. In an effort to promote Bogut for All-America and national player of the year honors, the University of Utah has launched an official Andrew Bogut website at www.utahutes.com/andrewbogut.
In the NCAA statistical rankings released on Feb. 1, Bogut was first in rebounds per game (12.0), fourth in field goal percentage (64.9) and 22nd in points per game (20.0).
Bogut has had double-doubles in 15 of the 22 games this season and ranked tied for first in the nation in that category as of Jan. 31.
Bogut has scored in double figures in all 22 games this season, bringing his double-figure scoring streak to 24 consecutive games dating back to last season.
He has thirteen 20-point games this season, bringing his career total to 16. He scored at least 20 points in 12 of the last 15 games, including four in a row before getting 15 points against San Diego State on Saturday night.
Against BYU last Monday night, Bogut had 20 points (7-10 FG, 6-8 FT), nine rebounds, four assists and a career-high tying five blocked shots in 37 minutes.
In seven Mountain West Conference games, Bogut has averaged 18.7 points (ranking 2nd in the MWC) while shooting 70.9 percent from the field (1st), 13.1 rebounds (1st), 2.57 assists (9th) and 1.9 blocked shots (2nd). He is the only player in the league averaging a double-double.
In the last four games, Bogut has shot 36-for-44 from the field (81.8 percent).
Notes On Utah's Undefeated Start To MWC Schedule
Utah is the first team in the six-year history of the Mountain West Conference to start its league schedule with a 7-0 record.
At the mid-way point of the conference schedule, the Utes had the previous top mark of 6-1 three times (2000, 2002, 2003) and went on to win at least a share of the regular season championship all three years.
Utah has outscored its seven MWC opponents by an average of 17.6 points per game and outrebounded the opponents by 14.0 boards per contest--which are on pace for league records (no MWC team has ever held a +10 advantage in either category at season's end).
The Utes are allowing just 51.6 points per game in league games and are on pace to break the league scoring defense mark set last year by Air Force (54.4 ppg allowed).
Utes On The School's Longest Winning Streak In Six Years
With its win over San Diego State on Saturday night, Utah extended its winning streak to 14 games, which is its longest since the 1998-99 season when the Utes won a school record 23 consecutive games in a row. Should the Utes defeat UNLV on Monday night for their 15th consecutive win, it would tie one other 15-game winning streak set from 1939-40 as the fifth longest in school history.
During its recent winning streak, Utah has won by an average of 18.6 points per game. Its closest games have been two 11-point wins. The Utes have won six times by 20 points or more.
One of the trademarks of Utah basketball in recent years has been a stifling half-court defense. Since the 1989-90 season, Utah has finished in the top 30 in the nation 12 times in scoring defense, 10 times in rebound margin, eight times in field goal percentage defense and eight times in scoring margin.
In the NCAA statistical rankings released on Feb. 1, Utah ranked third in rebound margin (+11.1 rpg), seventh in scoring defense (57.5 ppg) and fourth in fewest personal fouls per game (14.2). The Utes currently have a +11.2 rebound margin, are giving up 56.8 points per game, and are committing 14.2 fouls per contest.
The U. has held each of its last 11 opponents to 60 points or less. During the last 11 games, teams have averaged 51.3 points per game against the Utes while shooting 35.5 percent from the field and 33.3 percent from three-point range. Utah has also held a 35.5 to 21.1 advantage on the boards.
The Utes have outrebounded the opposition in 19 of the 22 games this season--including the last 14--and had a push in one other game (vs. Stony Brook in the season opener), going 19-1 in those contests.
Utah has allowed just three opponents to shoot better than 50 percent from the field this season: Washington (53.4 in a loss), Utah State (65.0 in a loss) and Cal Poly (54.5 in a win).
Utah has not allowed an opponent to score 80 points in 150 consecutive games that have ended in regulation. The last team to score 80 points on the Utes in a 40-minute game was Wyoming (88) on Feb. 28, 2000 in Laramie, Wyo.